PHILADELPHIA – Dwyane Wade scored 26 points, and LeBron James had 19 points and 12 rebounds to lift the Miami Heat to a 99-79 win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday night.
Mario Chalmers scored 13 points and Chris Bosh had 12 to help the Heat go on a dominant late run that put away the pesky Sixers.
The Heat used a 15-0 spurt in the fourth quarter to turn a tight one for 36 minutes into a comfortable victory and hand the Sixers just their third home loss of the season.
Thaddeus Young scored 16 points for the Sixers, who snapped a four-game winning streak.
Wade used a pair of ferocious dunks during the game-changing run that pushed the Sixers' first sellout crowd of the season toward the exits.
The Sixers opened the week with wins against Orlando and Chicago. The Heat squashed the home-week sweep.
Miami's 113-92 win on Jan. 21 was Philadelphia's only double-digit loss of the season. Entering the fourth, duplicating that feat seemed out of reach.
Unlike the Sixers, the Heat can turn to their stable of stars to crank up the pressure.
Wade started the run easily enough with free throws. Udonis Haslem and Mike Miller buried mid-range jumpers, James followed with a 3 and the game changed in a hurry.
The Sixers (12-3 at home) had grown used to the confetti gun blasting off after each victory. By the time they dusted off the seldom-used inspirational movie scene video reel, it was too late. Wade, Bosh and James were headed toward the bench, another win over the Sixers in the books.
The Heat played in Philadelphia for the first time since they blew a six-point lead with 95 seconds to play in Game 4 of their opening round playoff series. Jrue Holiday hit a late 3 that sliced the deficit to one and Lou Williams made the go-ahead 3-pointer from the top of the arc over a lunging Wade with 8.1 seconds left for an 86-82 win.
"Our first-round series against them was arguably the toughest, outside the finals," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said before the game.
Last season, opening round. This season, something deeper?
The Sixers had stamped themselves as a rising threat in the East. The Heat couldn't shake the upstart Sixers and never led by more than seven points in the first half.
The Sixers have done serious damage this season in the third quarter, putting teams away with big runs and tough defensive efforts. The Bulls scored 11 points in the third Wednesday. The Magic scored only nine points Monday.
The defense was as tight as usual, limiting the Heat to 16. The offense (6 of 18) never got going.
Bosh's putback ended an 0-for-10 start to the third for the Heat for a two-point lead. While the Heat struggled, the Sixers couldn't capitalize. Elton Brand and Tony Battie, two frontcourt starters, both went scoreless.
Andre Iguodala, who has cranked up his numbers when the Sixers need him most, continued with the clutch stops. He intercepted a pass from Wade into the post and drove the length of the court for a monster one-handed jam that had fans jumping out of their seats. But he went only 4 for 10 from the floor for 10 points.
The Sixers could never take the lead in the third and that cost them in the final minutes. James scored the last eight points of the third, including a long jumper that made it 67-63. Iguodala buried a 50-footer that was waved off after review.
Philadelphia's winning streak was put to rest in the fourth.
Notes: The Heat only made 11 of 20 free throws. ... The Heat made up for that number with just nine turnovers. ... The Sixers missed eight of their first nine shots in the third quarter. ... Rick Mahorn, Jane Pauley, Garry Trudeau and Mary Carey were all at the game.